Instagram announced earlier this year that it was testing hiding likes on photos.
Relative outrage ensued by the insta-pack internationally.
One Russian influencer even went as far as suing the photo-sharing network over claims that the move "will be the end of blogging as a source of income".
“We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get,” Instagram says in an in-app message explaining the change, reports Tech Crunch. “During this test, only the person who shared a post will see the total number of likes it gets.”
But, a new study suggests the downfall of influencers might already be happening. According to new research, engagement with influencer posts on Instagram is near an all-time low.
According to Mobile Marketer, the analytics firm InfluencerDB recently found that the rate for non-sponsored posts fell to just under 2% during the first quarter of 2019 from 4.5% three years earlier, while sponsored posts are now at just over 2% from 4%.
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The study also found that the engagement rate for influencers across every industry category including beauty, fashion, food, and lifestyle have declined in the past year. InfluencerDB believes the decrease is due to the fact that people are being bombarded by sponsored posts, and understandably scrolling right past them.
Interestingly, this new study found that influencers with 1,000 to 5,000 – known in the industry as 'micro-influencers' – actually had the highest rate of engagement, compared to those with over 5,000.
While it's unclear just yet whether the demise of influencers is imminent, it does look like they might have to reconsider their strategy because their followers are clearly over it.
Main image by @weworewhat